Manchester United to take Argentine spending spree to £97m with Enzo Perez - Report

Manchester United are linked with activating Enzo Perez's £23.5 million release clause.

Manchester United are being linked with buying their third Argentinian player since Louis van Gaal took over.

Benfica's Enzo Perez is again touted for a move, with Valencia also said to be in the hunt for the midfielder's services.

Perez is widely reported to be available, a matter helped by a £23.5 million release clause in his contract, cited by The Star.

The paper report he has emerged as a credible candidate for the club's midfield, with Juventus and Roma unwilling to sell star men Arturo Vidal or Kevin Strootman mid-season.

Benfica will not have a choice in the matter in United activate the clause in his contract. It would be the second January in a row they have lost a key midfielder, with Nemanja Matic moving to Chelsea a year previous.

Van Gaal will know Perez well, for he featured against his Netherlands side in the World Cup, playing 81 minutes in the match.

The Dutchman has already signed two players from that team, Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo, and would take his Argentine spending spree to £97 million.

Perez is however 28-years-old, which would give him little resale value and United would expect him to come in and hit the ground running. Having his two international teammates there would help, and the £23.5 million fee isn't over-stretching his market value too much either.

The problem is it will not address the gaping hole in the club's defence, which has emerged as a more serious priority over the past few months.

This is where United will need to concentrate their spending, for the midfield may not be perfect but they have enough to get by until the end of the season. The defence however is their real weakness and if they do not address their obvious shortcoming then that will be the problem which causes them to miss out on qualifying for the top four.

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